This article is also available in: Italiano
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Renato Boschetti from Calcioturco, the one who kindly hosted me during my stay in Amsterdam (an experience for which I can only thank him infinitely). His page has always been one of our points of reference, an interview was a must. His page has always been one of our points of reference, an interview was a must.
K: How was your passion and the Calcioturco project born?
A: Calcioturco was born from a brilliant intuition of the founder Bruno Bottaro, in November 2013. As I was able to discover knowing Bruno, we have always been fascinated by that world so far away yet so close capable of exalting itself in a striking way around 22 boys playing football.
My passion for Turkish football was born as a child, when in 1996 I went to Istanbul for the first time and I was enchanted to see such a big city that breathed football in such a warm and colorful way, with a strong territorial roots, as I then had. way to discover. Then, in 2014, following a trip by bike from Rome to Istanbul, the final shock, which led me to meet Bruno and to join the Calcioturco.com family.
K: There is a huge Turkish community in Amsterdam, what is their relationship with football? Did you notice anything in particular while standing here?
A: Amsterdam is, in its own right, a city very open to multiculturalism and, certainly, very close to Turkey in terms of mentality. There are neighborhoods, like Oud-West where I live, where the majority of the population is clearly of Turkish origin, with public places, restaurants and mosques that are quietly embedded in the urban fabric of the city. Likewise, the Turkish community is very present and well seen and, as a result, it is easy to see boys and girls walking, jogging or shopping in Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe or Trabzonspor jerseys or tracksuits.
The final of last seasonwas experienced in a very colorful way, with the fight at the last point between Galatasaray and Basaksehir, and being the first very popular, in May / June it was very common to see cimbom fans cheering in the Dutch streets for the double. The Dutch teams, on the other hand, are more frequent in the generations of millennials, a sign of greater integration and inclusion in society, with a clear predominance for Ajax, at least in Amsterdam.
K: At the moment in Italy we are witnessing an increasing number of “Turkish purchases”, what do you think is due to this change in trend?
A: The rediscovery of Turkish football and players is certainly a fact that can only please us, given that we are facing a golden generation for the Superlig and for the Turkish national team. The multiculturalism that has arisen and the presence of many second / third generation Turks in countries such as Germany, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland is leading to a clear opening of football influences in Turkey, which has made Turkish football attractive and varied.
The fact that not only the small teams, but also Juventus, Milan and Roma are full of Turkish players is a source of pride in their homeland, where Serie A is very popular and top Italian clubs are still very popular. It is no coincidence that recently, BeinSports has invested heavily in Serie A rights in Turkey.
K: What fascinates you most about Turkish football? Do you have any particular anecdote that “marked” you?
R: Turkish football has much more recent origins than in Western Europe, just think that the Turkish federation (TFF) was born only in 1923, 20 years after the birth of the first Turkish club, Beşiktaş. The “first kicks” were the prerogative of foreigners and soldiers, also because the climatic and social conditions were initially not exactly favorable. At the end of the 30s the first foreign coaches and a western know-how also arrived that opened the doors of football in the hearts of the Turks, even if the real boom came at the end of the 90s with the first European club events. The fantastic and almost unique thing about Turkish football is the sense of belonging that binds clubs and cities, or in the case of Istanbul, neighborhoods.
If we remove the case of Galatasaray, the only “national” team with clubs scattered almost everywhere, all the others, including the big names, are closely linked to their territory. Fenerbahçe, for example, is the Asian soul of Istanbul, and it is no coincidence that the derbies with Beşiktaş and Galatasaray are very heartfelt and “colorful”, either because of historical rivalries and / or political “affinities”. Historically, Trabzonspor, the only club capable of taking the title away from Istanbul and bitter enemies of Fenerbahçe, historically the team of the “powerful”, of central power, has been the fourth inconvenience. My first memory, of course, is linked to Galatasaray, AC Milan’s opponent several times in the Champions League, but which I became passionate about on the occasion of the only Turkish success in Uefa, back in the now distant 2000. But it is live that Turkish football gives his best: in 2018, for example, I had the opportunity to witness the decisive clash for the championship between Galatasaray and Basaksehir.
The streets and alleys of Istanbul, from Galata to the stadium, passing through Taksim and the subways, were colored yellow and red and the acrid smell of smoke bombs invaded the atmosphere. Bruno and I almost let ourselves be carried away by the yellow and red wave until the final riot. But the best memory, without a doubt, is linked to a Trabzonspor match, seen with local fans in a “gambling den / tavern”, an experience in which I got drunk with the choirs and colors of the local fans and left my heart for the strong passion of the bordomavi karadeniz, one of the most attached to the history of their jersey.
K: What are Calcioturco’s future plans?
A: In the future we hope to be able to maintain a widespread coverage of the championship and of the entire Turkish football world, a world in expansion and, hopefully, ready for the leap in quality, perhaps as early as Euro 2020. the possibility of bringing Turkish football to the bookstore, telling for the first time in Italy the thousand facets of Turkey living them from the football point of view, a sort of Anatolian tour in the ball, because Turkey is not only Istanbul and it is not just a collection of cliche.
Thank you so much for the wonderful interview, you can also follow Calcioturco on Facebook and Instagram. We return tomorrow with the last article (of this series) on Holland and its particular population: the Surinamese. From Thursday, then, 3 books and Sunday podcasts on Çay, or tea.
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